Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sewing Project: Phoebe the Test Elephant

Meet Phoebe, the cute little Melly & Me elephant that started my sewing craze. I first met Phoebe back in August last year when we visited the in-laws in Highfields, near Toowoomba. My Mam and I wandered into a beautiful little patchwork shop called The Quilters Angel. The Melly & Me dinosaur, Dilbert caught my attention first but when Mam pointed out an elephant called Phoebe I just couldn't resist. I spent ages picking out fabrics for her.

I asked the lady at the counter if I'd need a sewing machine and she said it was advisable so I could get small enough stitches to keep the stuffing in. I didn't have one but my mother-in-law came to the rescue and loaned me hers. After a quick lesson in how to use it she suggested I make linings for the curtains I was having made. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Well, sort of. I started making a test Phoebe with fabric left over from the quilt we made at my baby shower. Then work got busy, my mother-in-law reclaimed her sewing machine (by which time I'd finished the curtain lining) and poor Phoebe sat earless for quite a while. The ears were to be hand-stitched anyway so I eventually got them done over Christmas. Then all that was left was the blanket, for which I needed a machine.

Then I bought a machine but got very excited about all the other things I could do and it was a further three months before Phoebe finally got her blanket. I finished her yesterday and presented her to the real Phoebe, who said "Wow, Mammy."

Here's a photo of them together.

So now I can get on with the proper Phoebe using the posh fabrics. But first I have to make a Mrs Perkins for the baby and then I have to acquire some decent toy fill - the stuff from Spotlight is rubbish. It goes all lumpy. But the Quilter's Angel are going to call me when they get some in and mother-in-law will pick it up for me. It might get finished within a year of buying the materials. Then again...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sewing Project Number 2 - Another dress for Phoebe

This second dress is actually the same pattern as the first but with slightly more pricey fabric and I also got brave and sewed some ribbons on it.

The first dress is looking a bit worse for wear after getting into a disagreement with the elastic band from a mattress cover in our (hopefully temporary top-loader) washing machine. It resulted in the beautiful lace section along the bottom getting ripped asunder and it's now all raggedy and a bit narrow to be honest. Phoebe hasn't seen it yet but as it's quite a plain dress I don't think she'll be interested in wearing it unless I replace the trim. Which is a total pain as it basically means unpicking and resewing the hem. Not sure it's worth it for a $5 dress. (I'm guessing that's how much it cost but I haven't worked it out. The buttons would've been the most expensive item.) But it's such a cute dress it seems a shame for her not to ever wear it again.

I think I'm familiar enough with this pattern now to risk some fancier fabric next time. But I don't know when that will be as I have another one lined up waiting to be made. I have purchased a second-hand duvet cover from the charity shop, which gives me massive amounts of material for $4. I'll use this to make my mock-up and then delve into it with the real stuff.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spice Girl

I have given Phoebe some old spice jars to play with in her kitchen. As in jars that used to have spice in them, nothing to do with the aftershave. Although sometimes I wonder as one of Phoebe's favourite phrases is "Look at me", or rather "lookame Mummy" (I'm on a horse).

So anyway I was cooking dinner last night and Phoebe always wants attention at this time of day. It really bugs her that I might have something to do that doesn't directly involve her. I suggested she might want to cook in her kitchen whilst I was cooking in mine. That gave me some reprieve and I managed to plough through dinner and start tidying up.

A short while later Phoebe came into my kitchen carrying a spice jar from hers.

"None left, Mummy," she said and showed me her empty jar.

"Well, you'll just have to pretend," I told her.

"Yes," she said and returned to her kitchen.

Then it occurred to me that something wasn't quite right. Took me a while to put my finger on it but I soon realised that there were traces of spice in the jar she'd just shown me. I'd washed all the ones I'd ever given her to play with (not least because one of them was hot chilli powder). I retraced my steps in the kitchen. Three spice jars out of the cupboard, two back in the cupboard. So the third one must still be on the bench.... nope, nowhere to be seen.

I asked her to show me the spice jar again. Yep, definitely traces of spice in there.

Me: "Phoebe, did you get this jar from the kitchen bench?"
Phoebe: "Yes."
Me: "What did you do with it? Where is the spice that was in the jar?"
Phoebe: "Here Mummy," as she holds aloft her blender jug full of ground coriander.

I persuaded her to give it back as I needed it for cooking and diligently returned the contents back to the jar.

When Toby got home he said, "What's with the ground coriander everywhere?" so I told him the story.

This is what he found in Phoebe's kitchen (minus the jar of cumin, which he added for poetic license):

Actually the photo doesn't do justice to the amount of mess I had to clean up.